Most Sunday mornings start the same way for me. If we don’t have anywhere to go I wake up to the sounds of CBS Sunday Morning. It’s usually my husband to my left and Charles Osgood and his bow tie to my right. Cozy.
It’s the perfect show. A little smart. A little silly. Lots of pictures. Perfect. I don’t remember a Sunday without it (or without 60 minutes for that matter).
This morning’s episode featured a Yale psychologist named Paul Bloom talking about a human’s need for pleasure. Pleasure through all sorts of things. At the end of that segment they talked about people who love spicy foods. So spicy that the experience borders on pain. This need to push pleasure onto the realm of mild pain is called “benign masochism”.
I perked right up. My husband perked right up. You see, he’s been married to a benign masochist for a long time, and now we finally have a name to my disease. I love…no adore…no need super spicy food. If there’s a mild sweat developing while I have my penne arrabiata - awesome. If the name of the food has the word Habanero in it – it’s for me! Do you know how many times my daughter has said,” why? Mom, why?” This is why!
I blame my upbringing. I blame my Indian heritage. I blame….how delicious everything spicy really is.
My family and friends have been so supportive – they’ve always hidden their horror.
They don’t laugh when I order Chinese food (vegetable fried rice, no eggs, no mushrooms, extra spicy).
They didn’t laugh when I, at 6 months pregnant with my son, asked the cafeteria worker in our conservative financial firm to remove the jalapeno decorations during a Mexican themed lunch so I could actually eat them. I had to.
They love me so much that when we go out for lunch or dinner or even breakfast, they never forget to ask for the crushed red pepper or hot sauce.
I’m surrounded by love. And hot peppers.